Statistical Briefing Book > Juveniles on Probation Previous Page
Probation as a Court Disposition
Q: How many delinquency cases receive probation as the most restrictive disposition?
A: Probation was ordered in 51% of the nearly 325,400 delinquency cases that received a juvenile court sanction in 2020.

It is important to note that 2020 was the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which may have impacted policies, procedures, and data collection activities regarding referrals to and processing of youth by juvenile courts. Additionally, stay-at-home orders and school closures likely impacted the volume and type of law-violating behavior by youth referred to juvenile court in 2020.
  • In 2020, an estimated 165,100 delinquency cases resulted in a term of probation - 55% below the the number of cases placed on probation in 1985.
  • Adjudicated delinquency cases accounted for 54% (88,700) of all delinquency cases placed on probation in 2020. In the remaining delinquency cases, the youth agreed to some form of voluntary or informal probation.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: Released on January 10, 2023.

Adapted from Easy Access to Juvenile Court Statistics. Available on-line at:

Data Source: National Juvenile Court Data Archive. National Center for Juvenile Justice. Pittsburgh, PA.